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    RaceTrac Moves Into High Gear in Florida

    Retailer is ramping up builds in the southeast region of the state.

    LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. -- RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. is turning its development in South Florida up a notch.

    The Atlanta-based retailer's new convenience store model -- known as RT6K -- will open for business on U.S. 4411 in Lauderdale Lakes early next year. Other new stores mirroring the company's latest prototype are underway in Lake Worth, Lantana, Opa-locka and Miami Gardens, according to the Sun Sentinel.

    The new 6,000-square-foot RaceTrac locations will feature a Swirl World frozen yogurt station, an expanded coffee bar and a beer cave. The stores will also offer a seating area for customers and free Wi-Fi.

    "We're ramping up our efforts in Southeast Florida," said Tom Hardy, RaceTrac's senior engineering project manager in the region. "You can come in and get fresh sandwiches, fresh fruits, all kinds of healthy foods."

    Lauderdale Lakes Commissioner Edwina Coleman said she stopped in a RaceTrac c-store on a recent trip. "I was surprised when I went inside. It was not like a convenience store. It was like a patio area," Coleman told the newspaper. "[People] were not only buying gas, they were stopping there to have lunch."

    According to RaceTrac's Hardy, the company is building about 20 new stores a year in Florida. The cost of the Lauderdale Lakes station is $5.5 million, he said.

    RaceTrac also wants to build a second new store in Lauderdale Lakes on Oakland Park Boulevard at Northwest 33rd Avenue, but has run into neighborhood opposition. The commission will consider that proposal again July 28, according to the news outlet.

    RaceTrac Petroleum operates more than 365 convenience store locations in Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Texas. The retailer debuted its RT6K stores in 2012.

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